TROY, Mich., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Protean Electric, the global leader in advanced in-wheel motors for the automotive industry, has been awarded 17 patents for the unique technology and design of its Protean Drive™ system. More than 60 additional patent applications have been filed internationally and with specific countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
Unlike conventional electric motors or combustion powertrains with electric motors added, Protean's in-wheel motor design is unique. "We started with a clean sheet and designed motors specifically for in-wheel applications," said Protean Electric Chairman and CEO Bob Purcell.
Protean's in-wheel motors have the highest torque density of any of today's leading electric propulsion systems. Each Protean Drive™ in-wheel motor can deliver 81 kW (110 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft), yet weighs only 31 kg (68 lbs.) and is sized to fit within the space of a conventional 18-inch road wheel. Protean Drive™ also has superior regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking.
Protean Drive™ can increase fuel economy by over 30 percent depending on the battery size and driving cycle. It is also powerful enough to be the only source for traction on a variety of vehicles.
"Our message to the industry is simple. If they want to pursue in-wheel motors, they will naturally come to the same design and development conclusions as we did, and we have an exceptional solution that is clearly ahead of the rest of the industry," Purcell said. "We are already working with a number of potential partners to license them our technology, and are looking to create additional partnerships across the global auto industry."
Key benefits include:
- Class leading maximum torque density: 25.8 Nm/kg
- Class leading maximum power density: 2.61 kW/kg
- Direct drive: No gearbox, drive shafts or differentials
- Integrated electronics: No external motor electronics
- Can be retrofitted onto existing vehicles
Patents protecting Protean's innovations in technology and design already have been awarded in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company has filed additional patents in Europe, China, Malaysia, Japan, and India.
Protean Electric has demonstrated its in-wheel motors in several different light-duty vehicles from small cars to commercial vans to full-sized pickups. At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Protean's in-wheel motors were featured as the propulsion system for the BRABUS "High-performance Four-wheel-drive Full Electric Car" and the hybrid drive system for the BRABUS "Technology Project Hybrid," both of which are based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Protean's in-wheel motors also have been featured on an all-electric Ford F-150, the GAC Trumpchi in China, a Volvo C-30 and a hybrid Vauxhall Vivaro commercial van.
Protean also has won the prestigious 2012 Technology Pioneers Award from the World Economic Forum as being one of most promising start-up technology companies in the world.
Protean Electric (www.proteanelectric.com) is a leading clean technology company that designs, develops and manufactures the Protean Drive™, a fully integrated, in-wheel motor, direct-drive solution. Protean Electric is strategically positioned to play a major role in the hybrid and electric vehicle market by offering a combination of packaging advantages, new vehicle design opportunities, performance benefits and cost savings. Protean Electric is based in the United States and the United Kingdom.
SOURCE Protean Electric